*Image credits: Alice Pererell
Picture this. You’re in a nightclub, thrashing about to the beat like your life depended on it and you’re completely, utterly, stone cold sober. It’s also 7:15am. And it’s Wednesday. Sound unlikely?
The brainchild of Samantha Moyo and Nico Thoemmes, Morning Glory is a sober rave come freestyle exercise class, running 6:30am to 10:30am at popular Shoreditch dance cave Village Underground. For just over a tenner, you’ll get all the trimmings of a regular night out; warehouse chic location, rib-shaking bass beats and a crowd of like minded party people, minus the alcohol, drugs and occasional drunk douchebag. Artfully scheduled on a Wednesday morning to (hopefully) exclude drop-ins still kicking from the night before, Morning Glory is a wholesome affair offering up juices, coffee and morning massages, created simply for the love of movement and music.
Being armed with the above knowledge will no doubt help prepare you for a trip to the sober side of clubbing, however as we entered Village Underground bright and early last Wednesday I was still filled with a sense of First Date anticipation. As we descended the incline in to the cavernous clubroom, coats checked, wristbands applied and ready to party, it was hard not to notice that all the lights had been left on.
Surprisingly, the venue seemed to be pumping with a ferocity usually reserved solely for Saturday night as a sea of 300 strong revellers whooped in anticipation of a bubbling Deep House drop. The scene was being lead by a rather chiselled male member of the Morning Glory Motivational Dance Team (yes, Dance Team) who enthusiastically gyrated shirtless and perspiring in front of the elevated DJ booth. The DJ himself, who was sporting a totally awesome yet somewhat culturally confused ensemble of a Japanese Kimono paired with tropical themed tights, was punching out perfectly selected party classics whilst simultaneously looking like Rhys Ifans’s doppelganger from 1999’s Notting Hill.
A group of Zen looking folk were diligently doing power Yoga down the back, seemingly unfazed by the ongoing party around them, as a series of small neon signs reminded me to STRETCH. The dress code could be best described as eclectic, with matching gym sets, patterned pyjamas, animal-themed onesies, three piece business suits and a whole lot of tie-dye proudly on display through out the crowd. Dance moves seemed to be in the same vein of ‘anything goes,’ as one particularly flexible member of the Dance Team clapped her feet to the beat whilst performing a headstand centre stage. Co-founder Samantha soon took the mic, excitedly inviting everyone to ‘rave their way in to the day’ while the sound of Eric Prydz’s ‘Pjanoo’ pulsated from the Funktion One.
By some apt stroke of irony, my rave partner and I were the only ones who looked like we could have been kicking on from a very large Tuesday. Rubbing our eyes, downing expresso and sporting an ‘East London’ fash mish mash of oversized grey tshirts, blue jeans, a leather jacket and a snapback cap, I felt weirdly underdressed. But it didn’t matter. As the tinkling sounds of Deadmau5’s 10 minute long classic, ‘Strobe’ rang out over the crowd and someone wearing a plastic crown named ‘The King’ gave me a well deserved high five, the sense of pure, feel good fun was utterly unmistakable.
So what can be said for the idea of a 7am, sober and slightly awkwardly lit rave in one of London’s most notorious late night locations? Well, living in a world where the aim of a night out is to get a belted as THIS GUY, usually rendering far less witty results, Morning Glory is a breath of fresh and decidedly substance free air. And sure, dancing sober with strangers may not be everyone’s wake up of choice, however it sure beats the scent of Central Line armpits and taste of lukewarm Starbucks that fanfare my usual Wednesday morning. So treat yourself, give it a go, YOLO and all that, and attend the next Morning Glory on Wednesday the 9th of October. You wont regret it.